For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a photojournalist but information on a career in this field seems almost non-existant. Everything I have found, either in print or online seems to state the obvious and nothing more. There are forums on the internet but they are a closed shop for those already in the trade.
Whilst I have a good portfolio, it is not one that I would employ myself off if I were a picture editor; it does not show that I can find and document a story. To an extent I hope to remedy this when I accompany an aid trip to the Ukraine in October.
I've a thousand ideas for stories to cover but without acceditiation it seems impossible to do this. It's a catch 22, I can't get accreditation without a job and I can't get a job without a suitable portfolio.
In some ways I feel that my best (only!) option at this stage is self employment - which I'm cool with in theory, but I'm terribly bad at the business side of anything! I don't really have a clue about marketting and self-promotion - especially in a field where so many people are vying for so few opportunities.
You provide very little information about your age and photographic experience, though that really does not matter. If you want to become a photojournalist - then become one! Do not place stumbling blocks in your own path. Here are a few tips!
1. Start by learning all that you can about photography and then practice, practice and then practice some more. The late humanitarian singer and songwriter Harry Chapin once said that he learned to play the guitar by - playing the guitar until his fingers bled.
2. Learn all that you can about journalism. There are plenty of resource textbooks on the subject - search and you will find them. Try going to the following websites, study them and dig:
[a href=\"http://www.poynter.org/]Poynter Institute[/url] and News University
and National Press Photographers Association
. These are just a few, you will find many more if you do your research and, research is a skill set you will need as a photojournlist.
3. Think about enrolling in a journalism course of study if possible. If not, self study, study, and then study some more. In fact, to be your very best you would never stop learning.
4. Study the work of some of the best in the business today: James Nachtway, Chris Anderson, Carol Guzy (Washington Post), Deanne Fitzmaurice (San Francisco Chronicle), Jim Gherz (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Smiley Pool (Dallas Morning News), Jamie Francis (The Oregonian), and many more.
5 Practice, practice, and practice. Not all photojournalism is "hard news", much is feature work. Search out issues of social justice in your own backyard, look for stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and just snippets of every day life 2006. These stories are on your street, in your neighborhood, and in your city. Volunteer to document the work of humanitarian, social, and religious agencies in your area. You do not need accreditation for any of this type of work - you just need the desire and drive.
6. Find a mentor. Check with your local paper and/or the NPPA's mentoring program.
7. Allow nothing to get in your way. If you have a true desire to be the best photojournalist you can be and are willing to work hard, really hard then you will be. If you do that, you should not have any time for negative thoughts or negative attitudes.